In an interview Tuesday, former Giants coach Jim Fassel hinted that there could be a spring developmental league coming from the NFL next year.
That would be the first such league under NFL control since NFL Europa was put out to pasture in 2007 and it would be something that longtime executive and incoming Hall of Famer Bill Polian thinks fills a major void in the sport.
“The quality of our game has suffered because there is not a developmental league,” Polian said on Sirius XM NFL Radio. “Particularly for young quarterbacks; particularly for young offensive linemen; particularly for young defensive linemen, especially 3-4 defensive linemen. There’s a crying need for it.”
Polian went on to say that the rise of spread offenses in college has made the issue even more acute because many quarterbacks aren’t prepared to serve as starters or backups at the professional level. He pointed out the number of quarterbacks produced by the league’s previous European endeavors as a way that a developmental league bolsters the regular NFL.
The football side of things seems pretty obvious, but there are financial issues involved with starting even a minor league. Polian said he thinks there are six locales that could host and support teams right now and that they could be profitable quickly with the NFL chipping in for things like insurance, uniforms and equipment.
There was no echo of Fassel’s hint about a coming league, but the bare bones about why it’s needed and how it could work that Polian make it seem like something well worth exploring.